The price of raw milk has gone down drastically in the recent past. As a result, farmers in Nyandarua County are planning to stop selling milk to processors.
They have a good reason to. While they were fetching Sh35 per litre of milk, now they are earning only between Sh24 and Sh27 for the same amount.
At a time when most parts of the country are experiencing drought, meaning milk production is low, this is totally unacceptable. Matters are compounded by the fact that the price of milk in retail outlets has not changed. So what has changed?
According to Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia the milk prices have been driven down by stiff competition occasioned by importation of powder milk.
The governor has pointed the finger at the Government for allowing importation of milk powder. He is spot on; that is exactly where the problem lies.
For reasons best know to it, the Government has allowed the importation of all manner of foods at the expense of the farmer.
Only recently, poultry farmers were complaining over the flooding of the market with cheap Ugandan eggs which made their ventures unviable. Last month, the Government’s attempt to import maize was shot down by protests of angry farmers who said they had enough grain in their granaries.
In addition, reckless importation of sugar has almost killed our sugar industry. Rice importation has undermined Mwea rice fields; wheat flour imports have dealt Narok farmers a body blow while fish from China has hit fishermen below the belt.
Amid all these one cannot help but ask, whose interests is the Jubilee government serving by allowing this imports? It can’t be farmers. But cartels, business folk and foreigners have a reason to smile.